Salt Fork YMCA will host its Crack of Dawn 10K run Saturday, Aug. 21, taking runners along a slightly challenging course through town. Program directors say there are still T-shirts available on a first-come, first-serve basis. Prizes will be awarded for the first place overall male and female participants.
Program fees are $30 for members and $35 for nonmembers. Those interested can register now until the morning of the run. Race-day registration begins at 7 a.m. and the race begins at 7:30 a.m.
The 10K run is one of many programs offered for members and nonmembers alike, and program directors are working diligently to maintain the success and momentum from summer activities.
"We offer swimming lessons year-round," said Aquatics Director Courtney Fry. "Many people don't realize the pool is open throughout the winter. It's a great time to prepare for the following summer."
Private lessons are also an option, as well as instruction in swim strokes and endurance.
Swim and Gym is a popular program for children who want to join in other activities; program directors recommend early sign up. This class, offered two days per week, is available for three- to six-year-olds who want to swim one day and tumble another.
"(Gymnastics) grows motor skills, flexibility, balance and self-esteem," said Lisa McComas, wellness director.
All ages and skill levels can train. The facility houses a wide range of equipment including a tumble track, which is primarily a low-lying trampoline used to practice tumbling techniques.
"Kids love the tumble track," McComas said.
The YMCA will host a USAG skill level 3-rec op gymnastics meet which is tentatively scheduled Dec. 11. This is a level in which requires gymnasts to perform the same routine; they are then judged on a basis of execution and presentation.
Among the multitude of programs offered, the organization has several parties scheduled.
Seventh- and eighth-graders are invited to the Homecoming Teen Dance Saturday, Sept. 11, where they can dance to a DJ and socialize from 8 p.m. to 11 p.m. Admission is $6 per person and funds will go toward two programs -- the Missouri Valley College baseball team, which will be at the dance, and the YMCA Strong Kids, Strong Families Campaign.
Strong Kids, Strong Families provides program support and financial assistance to families in the community. Some of the programs aided by the campaign are the Community Halloween Party, Salt Fork YMCA memberships, Day Camp, Youth Sports and Gymnastics.
An anonymous member has praised the program, saying, "I have lost 50 pounds... I've done this by swimming laps. I have had back problems and the swimming has helped me a great deal. My sleeping at night has really improved."
Another member states, "I feel like I am a part of something instead of nothing. The YMCA has helped me open my mouth and I am more comfortable talking to people. I have a better outlook on life."
In 2009, $50,200 was raised for the Strong Kids, Strong Families Campaign, which provided scholarships for more than 900 youth, families, adults and seniors.
Coming up soon is a community potluck, which is open to the public. Scheduled from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., Aug. 25, the event is open to members and nonmembers, and program directors anticipate a good turn out.
"It's free for the community," Executive Director Suzanne Smith said. "The potluck is a good social event."
Most programs offered by the YMCA are open to members and nonmembers alike. The organization boasts adult day trips, flag football and community programs.
The fall and winter program guide can be found at the YMCA or on the organization's website.